Detroit Program Prepares Black Youth for Tech Careers
Computer Science for Detroit, also known as CSforDetroit, has recently announced the formal launch of its CSforDetroit initiative, a multi-year project supported by the Kapor Foundation, Google.org, Song Foundation, and CSforALL’s Accelerator Program. This initiative aims to provide year-round computer science learning opportunities for students in Detroit and professional development access for teachers and administrators.
Culturally responsive and community-driven computer education.
Dr. Aman Yadav, the Lappan-Phillips Professor of Computing Education in the College of Education and College of Natural Science at Michigan State University, noted the importance of the CSforDetroit initiative in bringing equitable computer education to Detroit’s youth. He mentioned in a news release that the leadership and vision of the Kapor Foundation, which has brought together various stakeholders and organizations to offer culturally responsive and community-driven computer education in formal and informal settings. This collaborative effort is expected to have a positive impact, particularly for K-12 educators who will gain access to comprehensive professional development opportunities.
Only 46% of Michigan high schools currently provide computer science courses.
CSforDetroit’s data reveals that computer science roles typically offer annual salaries exceeding $80,000, yet there is a shortage of qualified CS graduates, with only 2,639 individuals prepared to fill these positions. Additionally, the organization highlights that only 46% of Michigan high schools currently provide computer science courses, and underrepresented groups, such as Black, Latinx, Native students, low-income students, and girls, often lack access to the limited available programs.
“Strengthening our Michigan communities.”
“K-12 computer science education not only empowers students with essential digital skills but also nurtures innovation, problem-solving, and paves the way for a brighter future for all while strengthening our Michigan communities,” said Cheryl Wilson, Computer Science Consultant, Educational Technology Unit, Office of Systems, Evaluation, and Technology at Michigan Department of Education.
Leenet Campbell-Williams, Assistant Superintendent at Detroit Public Schools Community District, expressed their anticipation regarding the potential positive impacts of this initiative on educators, students, and their families. Campbell-Williams highlighted the initiation of innovative community-based strategies designed to promote and expand the involvement of all K12 students in Detroit in computer science education. Additionally, she stated, “This new partnership will further empower our community to become creators, leaders, and innovators in an ever-evolving tech-driven world and shape Detroit’s technological landscape for years to come.”